Thursday, June 28, 2012


   Don’t panic.

  No, this isn’t the beginning of “The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy” rather a couple friendly words of advice to all of die-hard “Leafs Nation”. I know you’ve heard those two little words before many, many times in the past. Completely understood is the fact that the prospect of facing yet another year of underachieving mediocrity when you were promised “truculence” would most definitely send even the most optimistic of fans into sheer panic mode. But try not to panic, not just yet.

   Don’t get me wrong though, it sure won’t be easy for Brian Burke to right the ship especially the way it is listing at the present time, but he does deserve one more chance. Unfortunately for Burke, this may be his last chance to do so. This is Toronto we are talking about where every single move is scrutinized to death and where the local media has no problem calling out anything it deems moronic regardless if it is or not. Since his arrival, Burke has been hammered over everything from bringing on board the wrong coach with the wrong system to selling the farm for…Gasp!!!...Americans. Not that any of that matters at all to Mr. Burke as he makes quite clear his disdain for those who criticize his actions in a most entertaining way. You have to give him credit in that aspect at the very least. Everyone likes a guy who is willing stick to his guns and “Burkie” is that kind of guy. Besides, you have to admit that your team is better today than it was under J.F. Jr., right? I mean at least scoring is up and the team is younger now. Okay, so the back end leaves a lot to be desired and the goaltending situation is in need of a serious upgrade, but rest assured that fact isn’t lost on Burke. He above anyone else knows that the defensive side of his roster has more gaps in it than Dustin Brown’s smile and it needs to be addressed this offseason.

   The pressure is definitely on for Burke to at the very least make this club a playoff contender and back up the promises he made coming in. However, if you look closely at what he has already done and how he has set the table going forward you’ll see there is a method to his madness. Given the uncertainty of how the next CBA will pan out, wisely Burke has positioned the franchise to be able to pick and choose how it fleshes out the roster under the new agreement. With seven forwards due to become UFA’s in 2013/2014 tremendous amounts of flexibility is in the hands of management due to Burke not handcuffing the franchise with overpriced long term contracts. As long as he shores up the back end this year and there is no doubt that he will your beloved Leafs will be poised to come roaring back into relevance thanks to Burke and his colorful yet crafty way of conducting business. I only hope that he will be allowed to be around to enjoy the fruits of his labor.

   So relax Leafs fans, the universe is not coming to an end…don’t panic.

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